Depending on your perspective (or relationship status), Valentine's Day can either be your favorite day of the year or the one you most despise. What we can all agree on, however, is that the holiday has one thing in common with Hollywood: unrealistic relationship expectations.
Sure, there are some grand romantic gestures and way too many supermarket-purchased roses, but in real life, we've yet to see a time-traveling love note or have a school marching band rework a Frankie Valli ballad for us. Love is a lose-lose proposition if you're taking your cues from Hollywood.
Still, what's better than a sappy love story on V-Day? Here are some of our favorite worst offenders.
1. Valentine's Day
If this 2010 ensemble rom-com is to be believed, Bradley Cooper will surprise you with flowers and tender caresses as you sleep and let me tell you, this has never happened!
It's also a movie where Reed (Ashton Kutcher) and Julia (Jennifer Garner) both have serious relationships crumble by lunchtime, but by dinner, they've both realized their mutual feelings for each other and the scummy exes are long forgotten. Yet in this reality, break-ups take longer than an afternoon to get over and rebounds are generally accepted as a terrible idea.
2. Love, Actually
Technically a Christmas movie, Love, Actually is an unapologetically romantic fluff fest. The story between Mark (Andrew Lincoln) and Juliet (Keira Knightley) isn't about true love --she's happily married to his best friend Peter -- but it still managed to set a high bar for romance.
Mark shows up with a cue-card confession for Juliet, famously telling her "to me, you are perfect," while her husband watches television in the next room. It ends with an innocent but picture-perfect kiss. So romantic!
Let's be honest, there's no good outcome for this guy in real life. The best-case scenario ends with some super awkward dinner parties before Juliet and Peter mutually decide it's probably best if they just kind of… stop… inviting Mark out anymore. Friends don't let friends declare undying love to your wives.
We're not saying that last-minute dashes to the airport to stop the love of your life on her way to an awful Vegas wedding never happen, we're just saying that in 2016 it goes down a little differently -- and sans Billy Idol.
Assuming you can afford a last-minute ticket (those things are expensive!) and successfully run the TSA security screening gauntlet to get to your gate before boarding closes, you'll probably still be tackled by an air marshall as soon as you attempt to start your serenade. And just go ahead and try carrying a guitar onto a flight.
Thankfully, The Wedding Singer takes place in the 1980s when aircraft security was a little more relaxed and Drew Barrymore's character Julia is saved from a truly tragic married name.
The 2004 tear-jerker responsible for Ryan Gosling's status as a romantic lead (and oh, we are grateful for that) also produces some serious sap. Rachel McAdams plays Allie, a rich heiress who gets to choose between hot, rich, charming lawyer Lon Hammond (James Marsden) and hot-but-poor Noah (Gosling). Pretty sure we've heard this story before.
Here's the thing, though: Lon is objectively a way better match for Allie than Noah. All she and Noah do is fight, make up and make out, while she and Lon seem to be pretty good together. As romantic as it sounds to have the relationship thermostat constantly set to high, that’s not a sustainable basis for a marriage.
And let's not even start on the all the nope involved with getting a woman to go out with you by threatening to hurl yourself from the top of a Ferris wheel, Noah.
5. You've Got Mail
It’s kind of adorable that You've Got Mail wants us to think there was a time when online dating wasn't just a cesspool of disappointment and failure. Or that people actually looked like their profile pics…
And that they composed well-thought out messages in coherent sentences, and didn't just text "sup bb" followed by an unsolicited nude.
At least attitudes towards women online have improved though, right?
We refuse to believe there is a single thing anyone, especially Kat (Julia Stiles), could hate about Heath Ledger's Patrick in this movie. HE IS ADORABLE. And it makes us really miss Heath. So yes, the scene where he serenades Kat is totally over the top, but we can completely overlook it just this once. Probably because we're still too busy circling Heath's name with love hearts in our notebooks.
When Dr. Kate Forster (Sandra Bullock) gets love letters in her mailbox from a strange man, she logically concludes the writer is her true love magically communicating with her from two years in the past – and not a deranged stalker. Things get more stalker-y when Kate’s pen pal-from-the-past Alex (Keanu Reeves) runs into her at a party before she has even started writing the letters and they end up dancing to a sappy Paul McCartney song. Wisely Alex decides not to reveal his identity. How would that conversation have gone?
"Hi, I'm Alex. In two years we'll be in love thanks to a magic mailbox."
"Hi, Alex, I’m… just calling the cops."
This is a movie where all you need to do to get the guy is lose to him in a game of basketball. Technically, Monica (Sanaa Lathan) is supposed to beat Quincy (Omar Epps) to get him to cancel his wedding to Tyra Banks the next day. She loses and he marries her anyway. Because true love, or something.
If we haven't completely killed your mood for romance yet, check out some of the best movie weddings in our video below: